Analysis: Several Microsoft Research people are preparing papers based on their current research, and I’m considering attending myself (I’ve written before about MSR’s work in analyzing large social networks). There are three Microsoft scientists on the Committee (Dou Shen, Haizheng Zhang, and Rina Panigrahy – check out Rina’s publications on hashing and sketching algorithms). It should be a top-notch conference, co-hosted by ACM and IEEE.
But that’s way off in the future – what if you want to look at some research stuff right now? Well, I’ve been going through the related “Socio-Digital Systems” work of MSR Cambridge (UK), and they’ve just added more information to their section here of the main MSR site. That’s some neat stuff, more on the side of the actual social uses of digital data and the effects on our (still-human?) everyday lives.
Here’s something else very cool: an MSR prototype called Research Desktop, “a project aimed to demonstrate Microsoft innovation in the area of content management and analysis and design of personal information management environments,” in the words of the background literature.
On the Research Desktop site, check out the videos listed on the right hand side as “Video Demos.” You can view them one-by-one, each describing different facets of the Research Desktop design and capabilities, but if you want to just watch one, check out the 3-minute “Research Desktop in Action” demo.
Researchers, from historians and sociologists to market specialists and financial analysts, engage in a range of activities in order to accomplish their tasks. This often involves gathering relevant sources of information and reading through the material to find important aspects of a topic. After analyzing the material they communicate their findings to their colleagues and the rest of the community in form of publications or online discussions.”
“In contrast to workflows of well structured business processes, researchers conduct their work in different ways depending on their experience, style, and preferences… Research Desktop provides dedicated information spaces: personal Library to collect books, manuscripts, relevant articles and media, and Notes to enable simple storage and access to content snippets, URLs, and other bits of information that can easily be misplaced or can be difficult to find.”
“Research Desktop is powered by a selection of tools and services that can be used in various contexts. Users can easily analyze individual books or collections of publications, create a co-author network, and discover trends in data. It revolutionizes the way we work by providing easy access to functionalities that are typically hidden within applications or not commonly found in the desktop environment.”
Let me know if you find the prototype of interest; we’ve already had some government people who’ve expressed interest in access to it.
Work like this takes smart people, and MSR is lucky to have a great collection of them. We’ve just added another: Danah Boyd, the well-known Web 2.0 researcher (she prefers just “2.0” to ensure the social elements are emphasized) just announced this week on her blog that “I will be joining Microsoft Research in January.” She has a great way of describing her attraction to MSR and the types of things she intends to work on, at the new MSR lab in the “other” Cambridge (Mass). Since that lab is focusing on the social sciences (the softest of all sciences, and therefore naturally where I did doctoral work), I’m really looking forward to working with her.
Filed under: Government, innovation, Intelligence, Microsoft, R&D, Technology Tagged: | 2.0, ACM, analysis, analytics, ASONAM, computer, Danah Boyd, data, data mining, datamining, digital, Dou Shen, email, Haizheng Zhang, IC, IEEE, IM, information, information management, Intelligence, Intelligence Community, knowledge, knowledge worker, lab, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, MSR, R&D, research, Research Desktop, Rina Panigrahy, SNA, social network, social network analysis, social networks, social software, web, Web 2.0, writer, writers, writing